When adopting a young animal, an owner's initial task is to housebreak the animal. There are several ways to increase the success of this training:
1. Establish a routine. Keep the puppy's meals regularly scheduled to encourage more predictable elimination patterns. Take your puppy out every two hours during the day and as needed at night.
2. Select ONE toilet area. Take your puppy to the toilet area five minutes after feeding, awakening, riding in a car, greeting new people, or chewing on toys, as well as when you see him circling or sniffing around. You should never "just put him out." Instead, you must take him to his spot and urge him to go. When your puppy relieves himself in the appropriate spot immediately reward him with a food treat and verbal praise.
3. A dog can only understand scolding and praise if it occurs within a half second of the event you are trying to control. Catching a puppy "in the act" is the best time to scold or praise. After the even has occurred, it is too late to scold or praise because the puppy will associate your feedback with whatever he is doing at the time, not ten minutes before. Rubbing the puppy's nose in his mistakes is a worthless technique because it occurs after this time frame and only confuses the dog.
4. If a mistake happens, clean it up well and spray an odor neutralizer on the wet spot and rub it in well. This way, a puppy won't use this spot in the future.